Andrew was visiting us at the house. He asked, as he was getting his coat on,
“What are you and Dad doing for the rest of the day?”
“We’re going to Costco.”
“You’re kidding, right? Mom, there are certain things couples my age know not to do. For instance, I’d never take my girlfriend to a strip club. For you, Costco is relationship poison. I’d better come.”
Nobu and I took our habitual path, veering towards the right when we entered the cavernous warehouse. Andrew went off on his own. Our phones were fully charged in the event we became hopelessly separated (we did). I had my scrap of paper with the three items Nobu and I had agreed should be on the list. Fifteen minutes later, we had those three things and we trolled the aisles to check out today’s offerings. Happily I jostled with the other customers for the best samples.
Nobu said, “Don’t we need paper towels?”
“We need a roll of paper towels. One is a purchase. Twelve rolls is an investment. I’ll pick it up later at the grocery store. We have what we came for. Let’s find Andrew and go.” I pushed the cart around the throngs of customers waiting for bits of dumplings in small plastic cups.
We split up and I received a text from Andrew. “N snax dept.”
I found him holding an assortment of 100 granola bars. I was intoning, “I don’t mind buying granola bars but I don’t want to invest…” when I felt my cart creak as Nobu dropped a tub of something in it.
“Is that thing protein powder? I bet it costs over $50!”
Nobu defended his purchase. “I drink a protein shake every morning and this will last all year. It’s the most economical way to buy it.”
“A YEAR!. It’s going to get stale. That’s ridiculous. It’s dumb to buy that much of anything, then throw half of it away.”
People were beginning to stare at us.
Andrew stepped between us, easing the cart to Nobu. He took my elbow, guiding me to a quiet corner while saying to his Dad, “We’ll meet you at the checkout.”
When he had me alone, my son said, “Mom, Dad is sixty-five-years old. He goes to his job every day and works hard. For heaven’s sake, let the old man have his whey.”
Embarrassed, I silently scolded myself. Andrew was right. Let the old man have his way.